Maybe one day genetics will be able to solve the mystery about the origin of the Castro, but so far only there are only assumptions about the roots of this breed. It is believed that the ancestors of these dogs came from Asia and ere crossed with European mastiffs. Castro Laboreiro dwells some areas in Portugal, in the past this dog was used to protect livestock from predators.
Today this breed is recognized throughout the whole world, and its characteristics are described in the standard FCI №170, but the information is still not enough and this breed is considered rare.
Castro Laboreiro is an average size dog, with good bone structure. His expression is serious and independent. His head is slightly rough with square shape. It is short and gradually passes the transition from forehead to muzzle. His eyes are oval, as the color varies from brown to dark walnut. The ears are set high, triangular, located close to the muzzle. The neck is short, the body is compact with a wide and deep chest. The abdomen is retracted and the back is wide and strong. The tail is quite long. Castro is moving relatively slowly and rhythmically, but can easily pass to the quick trot.
Character and behavior
Like all dogs who guard flocks, the Castro Laboreiro may live with more than one person in the family. He is a loving friend, which can be trusted. Castro is not aggressive, but is very courageous and this could lead to confrontations with other dogs. Well tolerated in all weather conditions and is the perfect pet for your household guard.
This dog is not so stubborn and aggressive as its fellow mastiffs. He is courageous and decisive, able to withstand even an attack by wolves. This breed has a very distinctive bark, starting with a wide range of lower tones, flowing at high and finishes most often like wailing howl. This barking is able to kick out any offender. Can become excellent and loyal companions of your family.
Training and education
The Castro Laboreiro is a breed used to dominate, so it is suitable only for people with experience in growing dogs. To learn your dog to obey, you should methodically train your puppy almost from his birth. This is a very independent breed, who would hardly learn commands and discipline, so it is better to bring them to a specialized school for training dogs. Even a well-trained Castro will listen only to his owner, so it is best to take your puppy while it is really small. Training should not be harsh. You should have great patience to be able to win the trust and love of your puppy.
Since there is not much information about this breed ant the diseases to which it is prone, it is better to vaccinate periodically and consult frequently with a veterinarian.
The average life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years.
Grooming and care
Castro's coat needs regular cleaning and combing. But bathing should be done only when necessary. These dogs lived in large mountainous areas, so they will not feel good in an apartment. They need more space, where they can run freely.
Children and other pets
Castro is always suspicious of strangers. And although the breed is not aggressive, some representatives can become dangerous if they feel threatened by other animals. Early socialization is a must. The good news is that these dogs adore children and love to play with them.
This breed is used in the Portuguese armed forces, for the same work as the German Shepherd. Nowadays the population is large in Portugal and the Castro Laboreiro Dog is present at many exhibitions, but puppies for sale are still hard to find in the rest of Europe. Recently, some representatives of the breed have been exported to the USA to guard flocks from coyotes and wolves.